Derail Your Own Train

Sunday

Last Sunday I woke up early and couldn’t get back to sleep, so I did a little laundry and went to the Music/TV Room while I waited for the load to be done. I didn’t really have anything in mind that I wanted to listen to. The sun was just getting ready to show its face and it was really quiet outside. It was just Ra and myself, so I thought to have something peaceful was in order. I didn’t get past the C’s, cuz nothing is more appropriate to listen to on a tranquil Sunday than John Coltrane. Yeah, he was known for blazing, long improvised solos and being “insane”*, but he was one of the greatest jazz balladier, period. And after recording A Love Supreme, his music took on a more spiritual… sound, philosophy, feeling? Whatever you want to call it, these songs had the feeling of serenity that I felt, along with the free jazz insanity I love.

 

* Chuck D/Public Enemy- Don’t Believe the Hype 1988

 

Ladies and Gentlemen:

 

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Ascent-John Coltrane

 

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ln a Sentimental Mood-   John Coltrane

 

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Chim Chim Cheree- John Coltrane

 

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Alabama- John Coltrane

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I’ll Die, But I Won’t Go Away

JS Damn

Finally, the finale in the Organ Grinders. Thanks for sticking around.

The last man is The Man. Jimmy Smith basically changed the way the organ was viewed and played. In all musical styles and genera. His story plays out like an old blues guitar player’s: He started out playing the piano and winning contest by age 12. After serving the country in the navy at the age of 15 (what?), he went to a music school to hone his craft. But after hearing organist Wild Bill Davis, he bought a Hammond B3 and set up in a warehouse to practice. He disappeared for a year. When he finally emerged in 1955, he came out as the greatest organ player alive, The Incredible Jimmy Smith,and began playing clubs in Philly , then New York. He was quickly signed to Blue Note records, where he played his ass off. The man was prolific. Like Prince prolific, providing so much music that Blue Note was still releasing his recordings into the 80s.
Jimmy must have had the same regenerative powers as Wolverine, cuz his ass grew back in 1962, where he proceeded to sign with Verve records, and promptly played his ass completely off. He continued to play up until his death in 2005.

In his career, he played with The Best jazz musicians, and highly influenced other organ grinders such as Jimmy McGriff, Brother Jack McDuff, Richard “Groove” Holmes and Charles Earland. While researching this, I found out that he played on the title track to Michael Jackson‘s Bad album (wich I won’t hold against him just cuz I hate the video). He’s been sampled by the likes of De La Soul, Nas, Kylie Minogue, and of course, The Beastie Boys. His stuff is just so funky, so soulful. Plus, his music is always a fall-back if I’m having trouble thinking what to post. So if you see a Jimmy posting, you know my brain is fried, but the music will be straight.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

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The Cat- Jimmy Smith

 

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Goldfinger(Part II)- Jimmy Smith

 

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Mission: Impossible- Jimmy Smith

 

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C Jam Blues- Jimmy Smith

 

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OGD- Jimmy Smith and Wes Montgomery

 

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Root Down (and Get It)- Jimmy Smith

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Swear You Don’t Miss The Organ Grinder…

I’ve been looking up information on the next organist, Brother Jack McDuff, and I was excited to see that he “studied privately in Cincinnati”. It’s always cool to see the people who got their musical start and inspiration here in Cincy, even though none of it has rubbed off on me. So I dig a little bit deeper. Nothing about what he exactly did here. Dug some more. Nothin’. Dug up just a little bit more…

A matter of fact, everything I looked up said the same thing: “studied privately in Cincinnati”. Now he did start out playing the bass, and that’s probably the answer right there but, C’mon man! Everyone wrote his bio using Wiki? Really? What? I am too? Anyway…

Like a lot of the jazz organist out there, Jack heard THE jazz organist, Jimmy Smith, and that was that. He switched to the Hammond B3 and put his feet in it. I always like McDuff because he did a lot of his own compositions. That, and the name, Brother Jack McDuff, is just so cool sounding. It sounds like a guy that was down for the revolution. Then he went and changed it to Captain Jack McDuff, and I remembered that the revolution would not be televised. But I (a.k.a. Brother Blood) remember Brother Jack…

Ladies and Gentlemen:

 

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Oblighetto- Brother Jack McDuff

 

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Grease Monkey- The Brother Jack McDuff Quartet

 

 

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